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Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations Paperback – Dec 18 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (Dec 18 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321668790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321668790
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1.4 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"In today's economy, all of useven those of us who aren't trained as designersmust become design thinkers.  But how? At last, Garr Reynolds has unlocked the secrets and presented them in a compelling and useful way. Whether you're a professional preparing a talk, a student tackling an assignment, or anyone trying to craft a richer life, Presentation Zen Design is the most important book you will read this year."
Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind & Drive

"To change the world, you need to pitch. To pitch, you need to design. To design, you need this book."
Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder, Alltop.com, and former chief evangelist of Apple

"Garr has once again visually captivated readers with a book that will inspire millions to communicate effectively. He wove together freshly inspired Zen concepts and displayed them breathtakingly. Read this book, I know it will take your breath away as it did mine."
Nancy Duarte, CEO, Duarte Design, and author of the best-selling book slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

"No visual backdrop will energize a lukewarm, uninspired message. But wrap a clear, powerful, authentic presentation in great design and you get what every speaker aspires to: electrical connection with your audience. Buy this book and learn from the best design educator on the planet. Your audience will thank you."
Pamela Slim, author of Escape from Cubicle Nation

From the Back Cover

In his internationally acclaimed, best-selling bookPresentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery,presentation master Garr Reynolds gave readers the framework for planning, putting together, and delivering successful presentations. Now, he takes us further into the design realm and shows how we can apply time-honored design principles to presentation layouts.

ThroughoutPresentation Zen Design,Garr shares his lessons on designing effective presentations that contain text, graphs, color, images, and video. After establishing guidelines for each of the various elements, he explains how to achieve an overall harmony and balance using the tenets of Zen simplicity. Not only will you discover how to design your slides for more professional-looking presentations, you'll learn to communicate more clearly and will accomplish the goal of making a stronger, more lasting connection with your audience.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Garr takes Presentation Zen, which while inspiring was something less than truly instructive, and gives advice that can be used the moment the book is closed. Already has a permanent place on my business books shelf
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bottom Line: If you liked Presentation Zen and you're interested in Design, buy this book immediately, you wont regret it.

This book was as useful, practical, interesting and impactful as Presentation Zen. In fact I think it may even be better. Its a definite next step in document-presentation design. If you've practiced what you learned in Presentation Zen and you want more, this book has much, much more in store for you. A definite favorite on my bookshelf.
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Pretty good book. Not as good as his books "The Naked Presenter" and "Presentation Zen, but worth getting if you are a Garr Reynolds fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a3e2774) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a56d60c) out of 5 stars Didn't create as much of an impact as the first book March 12 2010
By Gearhead Mania - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Presentation Zen Design

Garr's a great writer, and his first Presentation Zen book made a huge impact on how I create PPT slides. His new Zen Design book is unfortunately more of the same. He covers some art and design topics in detail, such as color selection, font kerning, recommended fonts, how to take your own digital photographs, symmetry vs asymmetry but otherwise it is more of the same.

I read through Zen Design and felt it did not add as much value as the first book. Sure, some of the topics are interesting but I've gotten the same lessons from other professionals in the area of photography and art. It felt like Garr ran out of new topics to discuss and fleshed out some of the earlier concepts - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Overall, I felt that you could just buy and read the first book and be well on your way. The Zen Design book isn't mandatory. It's good to read, but not as important as the first book.

Pros: Covers more design topics in detail, excellent tips abound

Cons: More of the same, nothing revolutionary, not as good as the first book

Overall: 3/5 stars
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6923cc) out of 5 stars Practical Insights for Designing Slide Presentations Jan. 3 2010
By Arthur D. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book in October and was delighted to recieve the package from Amazon.com as a delayed Christmas gift to myself. Reynolds has followed-up his best-selling Presentation Zen with this new book covering the design aspects of slide presentations. I stumbled across the Presentation Zen blog a few years ago and have been a devotee of Garr Reynolds ever since. Along with Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design, Garr has been a seminal thought leader in the movement to replace boring and tedious slide decks with interesting and engaging presentations.

A long-time resident of Japan, Reynolds combines his knowledge of Zen with his design expertise to give us a beautiful book with a strong point of view advocating simplicity as a foundation for slide presentations. The book goes well beyond mere advocacy and is chock full of specific techniques and tips that will help you build a winning presentation. Even though I've followed his work for some time, I found several useful new ideas that I'll be able to implement immediately.

Presentationzen Design covers everything from typefaces and color, through negative space (read the book), and harmony. However, Garr doesn't just make a point and move on. I especially appreciated the great research and added content. He sprinkles in supporting articles from subject matter experts such as Nancy Duarte on sketching and planning in analog, David S. Rose "The Pitch Coach" on the importance of design and delivery in high stakes venture capital presentations, and John McWade on the use of photographs to tell your story. If you can only have one design book for building your presentation this is it.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a6925a0) out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Presentation Creation Dec 30 2009
By Jason Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Presentation Zen Design is an excellent book, geared for people who want to build impactful presentations but lack a deep design background.

Garr's first book, Presentation Zen, did an impressive job at giving an overview of what makes for a great presentation. He covered preparation, crafting the story, basic design principles and delivery strategies along with a nice selection of sample slides.

This book expands significantly on the first book's design section and this is a good thing. Once you've made the decision to move beyond typical PowerPoints it's great to have a book filled with so much practical information and lots of examples. With sections on type, color, images, video, layout and presenting data (an area where so many of the presentations I see fall apart), Presentation Zen Design provides a comprehensive toolkit for creating compelling presentations.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a692870) out of 5 stars Garr leads by example Dec 31 2009
By V. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Garr Reynolds is a master of leading by example. His follow-up to PresentationZen, PresentationZen Design has more impact than the first book. It is a joy to look at and absorb the quintessential components of the aesthetics that guide the development of an effective slide deck. The book visually exudes the harmony, style, color and story that the text describes.

Mr. Reynolds' use of photographic images is a bold example for those of us who still think photos are an afterthought. The chapter on the power of the photograph will change your life, especially the tips from Scott Kelby on taking your own photographs to use in your presentations.

Garr Reynolds' presentation techniques did change my life in 2001 when I saw him speak at a computer user group event. Inspired by his refreshing and persuasive techniques, I took a new job in training course development and vowed that I would help as many people as I could escape from presentation prison. I look forward to using this powerful reference to continue to pursue that goal.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a5608c4) out of 5 stars Cure for death by powerpoint Jan. 17 2011
By Dave Greenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Presentation Zen Design, unlike its predecessor, Presentation Zen gives practical and actionable tips on how to make a better presentation. While Zen and Japanese philosophy are still used as a method of teaching concepts, readers will find it much less distracting and much more integrated than its predecessor.

This book looks at the anatomy of your slides and how to make them supplement what you are saying as the presenter rather than being the focus of your presentation. Of course professional designers take years to learn these skills, but after reading this book I have much more confidence I can make a quality presentation without having Al Gore's design team at my disposal.

Unlike typical tech books, practical examples and checklists are missing from this book. General ideas and viewpoints are presented instead, in short digestable sections, just like the Bento box the author describes - a wide variety of concepts put together in a neat package that gives you energy and nourishment for the day.

After reading this book and looking at my previous presentations, I now understand why I and others fell asleep during them. I saw where I made my mistakes and what to change for the future. I'll be doing much much less on individual slides and will make the concepts I present "pop" off the screen and have a clear focus.

For those people looking for tips and tricks of PowerPoint and Keynote, move along. This book is about practical advice and overall concepts of using "slideware" to engage your audience and help them understand what you are presenting.

Pros: Excellent overall concepts of how to make better presentations with a holistic focus rather than practical teachings of software functions
Cons: None!

Five out of Five Dogcows.